Samsung Electronic and TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd) is competing to be the first company who produce 10nm process chipset. Samsung Electronic has bypassed the production of 20nm chipset last year and went straight to produce 14nm chipset and thus the company secured orders from Apple and Qualcomm. This year, TSMC is skipping 14nm chipset production and going direct to produce 10nm chipset. Hopefully, by using this method, TSMC is able to secure orders from Apple and Qualcomm, two of the company’s biggest customers.
As reported by Taiwan’s local media, TSMC will start the risk production of its 10nm process chipset by second quarter of next year. Risk production can be seen as the final testing phase which is aimed to increase the yield rates before the full mass production. The mass production is expected to be somewhere as early as second half of next year. The negotiation with Apple and Qualcomm is expected to be around this period too.
After the 10-nm foundry process is implemented, the clock rate of application processors (AP) is expected to be up 20 percent while the power consumption is expected to be down 40 percent compared to the 14nm FinFET process.
Samsung Electronic, on the other hand, announced that its 10-nm foundry process is made possible from the end of 2016 and that the company is planning to expand the market share of the existing 14nm FinFET chipset first. At the moment, it seems like TSMC is a step ahead in the race. TSMC is also reported to have invested US$1 billion on this 10-nm process chipset in order not to lose with Samsung Electronic.
However, there is still possibility that Samsung Electronic will push the production date to be earlier as to win order from Apple so that its performance can be improved. The company has unveiled the actual 12-inch wafer using its 10nm process in May 2015 which is seen as unusual move from the company.